Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bearberry: A good native plant

Bearberry is often used as an easy groundcover, but it can be planted alone, or in small groups (although don't expect much height out of it). It likes full sun although it can grow pretty well in light shade-I love it underneath a small patio tree like stewardia or dogwood. Yes, it is native to our region and yes it has great foliage-pretty but tough, shiny little leaves that turn a bronzy red come fall. Spring blooms are followed by little red berries and if you look closely you'll notice how pretty the crinkly bark is. Plant it in a woodsy looking area of the yard with bleeding hearts, foxglove and columbine. Good varieties are "Massachusetts" and "Point Reyes," but most are nice. Don't have a fit if you don't think yours is growing-it can take some time to get established but like an old loyal horse, once it gets going it'll be a good, solid performer.


  1. Do you really call it Bearberry in Oregon? I know they call it that in California. In Washington it's Kinnikinnick.

  2. I've always heard people in Oregon call it both names so I guess we're just mixing it up here in Portland!